Breckenridge Ski Resort to open Peak 7 Saturday; Arapahoe Basin Ski Area works to open Montezuma Bowl | SummitDaily.com

Breckenridge Ski Resort to open Peak 7 Saturday; Arapahoe Basin Ski Area works to open Montezuma Bowl

The sun peeks through the overcast clouds to illuminate snow-covered terrain at Breckenridge Ski Resort on Sunday.

Breckenridge Ski Resort continues to roll out terrain after reaching 100 inches of snow for the season, as Peak 7 will open Saturday.

The public will have access to Peak 7 via the Independence SuperChair, increasing the resort's amount of skiable terrain to more than 1,700 acres across Peaks 7, 8 and 9.

Also this weekend, for the first time this season, skiers and riders will be able to ski directly into Breckenridge's downtown via the Gondola Ski Back and Lowest 4 O'Clock trails.

Along with opening up terrain off of the Independence SuperChair on Peak 7, Breckenridge will also open on-mountain dining at Pioneer Crossing and The Coop.

To put the current conditions at Breckenridge into context, resort spokeswoman Sara Lococo said in a statement on Wednesday that the last time Breckenridge received this much snow before December was during 2010-11's 519-inch season.

Over at Keystone Resort, there is now more than 1,500 acres of skiable terrain open across all three of the resort's peaks, including hike-to access in the Bergman, North and South bowls.

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Arapahoe Basin works on 'Zuma Bowl

After opening up its Pallavicini and Beavers lifts within the past week, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area on Wednesday provided initial details about the timeline for opening up its Montezuma Bowl.

On his blog, A-Basin chief operating officer Alan Henceroth said the "Zuma Bowl" backside terrain has fared well with the more than 100 inches of snow that has blanketed A-Basin thus far this season.

Henceroth added that the ski area's cat drivers have begun down Montezuma Bowl's intermediate, above-tree-line Columbine terrain.

"They have also been out (on) Zuma Cornice," Henceroth said on his blog. "Prior to the 22-inch storm, the snow safety crew and cat drivers had used the Disruption Roller in West Zuma. The ski patrol has done extensive explosive work in West Zuma. The winter trail crew is moving and wrestling with the buried fences. With unsettled weather beginning (Thursday), we will get Zuma shaped up quickly."

On a blog post on Friday, Henceroth described that "disruption roller" machine A-Basin uses to break up snow on some of its steepest terrain.

"It interrupts propagation pathways," Henceroth said, "breaking up slabs and reducing avalanche hazards. And, it is good for the skiing. Operating this machine is a collaboration between our snow safety team and our trails maintenance team. Last week the crew worked Pali and West Zuma Bowl with the 'Disrupter.'"

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